Kristin Chenoweth In Concert: For The Girls – Mesa Arts Center

Theater Review – March 7, 2022


Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center
Mesa, AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth made her local debut at the Mesa Arts Center with an enjoyable 90-minute set that showcased the artist’s amazing and unique singing voice but also allowed her much pointed chatter about Arizona’s lifestyle as she described her three days here as she explored our state for the first time.

For her appearance, she brought a Broadway conductor to play piano and to lead a small orchestral ensemble that featured a drummer and guitarist plus two back-up singers.  The singers provided some nice musical blends on several of Chenoweth’s song selections.

Chenoweth ran through pop tunes, some musical theater classics, and she sang “Popular,’ her signature song from her hit Broadway show, “Wicked.”  She mentioned that when a performer is blessed with a song linked to her like “Popular,” the performer should always sing it in concert performances.

The relaxed evening drew many standing ovations and much of the sold-out audience were obvious fans who worshiped her first engagement here. She was gowned beautifully in a sleek black spangly dress with very high heels to help make her appear taller than her small stature.

Her voice sounded pristine and her microphone-less encore, “Smile,” stunned the crowd as the crowning achievement of her act.  Other favorites included “The Way We Were” and a remarkably sensitive “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables.” She used this song and others to showcase the fact that contemporary events can make songs take on new meanings.

Kristin Chenoweth’s first local appearance showed off the singer’s diversity and will serve to bring her back here for her fans. Like Jeremy Jordan’s recent Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts appearance, one hopes locals will get to see her perform in a musical here.

Grade: A